Market Economy Status for China

 

Mr Stephen Kinnock: On 12 January, the Secretary of State told this House that China’s claim to be treated as a market economy should be judged through the prism of steel.

Mr Stephen Kinnock: On 12 January, the Secretary of State told this House that China’s claim to be treated as a market economy should be judged through the prism of steel. Given that 70% of the Chinese steel industry is owned by the Chinese Government, will the Secretary of State now confirm that China should emphatically not be granted market economy status?

Mr Philip Hammond: I think what the hon. Gentleman will find if he checks the record is that I had just come back from China where I had conveyed the message to the Chinese that their claim to market economy status, and the European Union’s consideration of that claim, would be judged through the prism of their actions in relation to steel. They gave me assurances then, as they gave us assurances in October, that they are seeking to address overcapacity in the Chinese market. We have just had a discussion this morning about this in Cabinet. I learned this morning that there are protests in China about the loss of steel jobs, just as there are in the UK and in other places throughout Europe. The reality is that we have a massive surplus of steel capacity throughout the world and we have to address it.

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